Tag Archives: Montréal

Le Vieux-Port de Montréal

 

Under a full moon, 21 hours after leaving Québec City the Draken Harald Hårfagre arrived in Montréal, June 19th, 2016. Last evening the 20th of June was the start of summer solstice – hot, cloudy, windy with lightning and thunder. Unable to see the full moon here we must wait for the next summer solstice when they join together June 21, 2062. Fitting, this rare phenomena happens when this viking ship is in our city.

Yesterday, I arrived at Quay Jacques- Cartier at le Vieux-Port de Montréal to see this magnificent vessel. Unbelievable, a crew of 28 crossed the Atlantic Ocean in this slender wooden craft 34 metres by 7 metres!

 Montréal, June 2015

I took my Venezia Sketchbook, Arches paper and my paint box with a few brushes. Here are some of my sketches. The hot record breaking weather and high winds presented their challenges but insignificant in comparison to the elements facing this ship and crew.

Vikings used Ravens to sight land. If land was sighted by these birds it was nearby. They are non migrational so return to ship quickly if no land in sight.

Vikings used Ravens to sight land. If land was sighted by these birds it was nearby. They are non migrational so return to ship quickly if no land in sight.

before visitation of Viking boat in Vieux Montreal 2016

Viking boat in Vieux Montreal, 2016

 

Arches paper, watercolour

Cleaning the deck, Montréal,

 

viking ship from wharf in Brockville, Ontario

Dockside, Brockville, Ontario

Summer 2014

My sketchbook is a place to draw, experiment and enjoy. It a place where ideas germinate. Last year I sketched at the Cuckoo Trattoria garden in Coombs, BC and in Montréal, St.Louis Square.

Cuckoo Trattoria, Vancouver Island

Cuckoo Trattoria, Vancouver Island

The Cuckoo garden is intimate with buddha statues, lots of greenery, potted Japanese maples. A water fountain descends softly into an elongated pond. Time passes endlessly for me. But other visitors pause and leave quickly to have lunch, buy a plant or a garden ornament.

St Louis Square, Montréal

St Louis Square, Montréal

St. Louis Square (1876) is surrounded on 3 sides by Rue Du Square-Saint-Louis and the busy, Rue St. Denis. It is tranquil but has an air of excitement with colourful Victorian row houses, commercial shops, busts of  Octave Crémazie  and  Émile Nelligan. Here children play, put their feet in the fountain while adults, dream, gossip or sleep on near by benches.

This spring, using my sketch book as reference I painted scenes from Cuckoo Trattoria garden. When I transfer my memories and watercolour sketches to canvas, I laboured over colour, proportions, representation. My sketchbook liberates these inhibitions, you are happy the weather is dry, happy the people relax and stay, happy the pencil and paint flow with easy.

Water is the current theme of an exhibition of paintings at The White Flag Gallery,  from July 11-August 16, 2014. The below painting is my part of the gallery exhibition. If you are in or near Brockville,(Ontario) please visit, you will be warmly welcomed.

Linda Denis, Water Garden, Monday

Linda Denis, Water Garden/Monday, acrylic on canvas, 12×12 inches, 2014

Kouros Horse, Montréal

I love this sculpture of Barry Flanagan (1941-2009). He does not have the sophistication of  horse and cougar, found in the lobby of Montréal Museum of Fine Arts*. He is a horse with attitude: swayed back and scrawny but still looking for action. A horse able to withstand the “polar vortex”  we had this week in Montreal. You can drive or walk by this equine sculpture 7/24, no entrance fee, just there for our pleasure. * The sculpture has moved to the bronze section of MMFA.

The Kouros Horse ( bronze, 1986) is located on the corner of Stanley and Sherbrooke, 1130 Sherbrooke west.

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Barry Flanagan, Kouros photo Pedro Ruiz

My neighbour was a Brit and horsey. She told me that Munnings, considered one of the best equestrian painters, would lie under the steeplechase jumps so he could best feel and see the action. You can crawl around this equine without danger of a kick or bite. Take a look at the monogram “f’ and number 2/6 on the left hind hoof. There are 6 editions and 2 artist casts.

Linda Denis, Kouros Horse, Chinese Ink on Yupo

Linda Denis, Kouros Horse, Chinese Ink on Yupo

In Montréal, there are other outdoor equine sculpture to view 24 hours a day. George W. Hill (1862-1934) born in Shipton, Québec sculpted the Boer War Memorial and unveiled it in the spring of 1907. It still stands today in Dorchester Square, bordered by René Lévesque, Peel, Metcalfe. The riderless horse with a soldier restraining from the ground is unusual as most equestrian memorial are mounted. If the horse is mounted and has all four feet on the ground, it means the rider died of natural causes, if one foot is in the air, the rider died subsequent to wounds received in battle and if two feet in the air, the rider died during battle.

220px-Guerre_Boers_Montreal

George Hill, Boer war Memorial Dorchester Square Mtl

 

The  outdoor sculpture by  Fernando Botero, named The Volumptuous Man on Horse is located at the entrance to LHotel, 262 rue St. Jacques, Old Montreal. This rider is so privileged to be sitting on a calm horse that appears to requires no skills but good balance. Some would refer to him as a “hood ornament” similar to ones found on antique cars. It is ok to be vain when you are so beautiful.

 

Fernando Botero,Volumptous Man on horse, photo by Guevremont

Fernando Botero, Voluptuous Man on horse, photo by Guevremont

Simplicity, paper and pencil

As artists, we need to reach out to other sources to keep our creativity at a high peak. Often it is music, poetry, or going to an art gallery or museum which gives the extra boost.

Other times, we need to look at artists with multiple expertise and see how they manage. My first connection to Leonard Cohen was through his poems and music but lately I am looking at the simplicity of his drawing and imagery. Hambleton Galleries  has a large selection of his works.

It is mentioned in a few articles that when he is at his  Montréal home he works on an old Québec pine table. This idea of simplicity and the need for few tools has my attention. I have this idea if I buy this brush or use this paint there will be a significant improvement in my art. Leonard Cohen reminds me to use pencil and paper. Draw and draw fequently.

leonard_cohen_still_looking_2303_83

 The documentary, Picnic in the Park with Leonard Cohen , NFB of Canada by Pierre Tetrault is another indicator to enjoy the simple gestures in life.

 Here is a pencil drawing of a favourite dog.

Freya

Freya

 

Yupo night at Syn Studio

This is the final night of the watercolour classes  at  synstudio.ca   Marc challenges us again with this slippery plastic support called yupo and a model. If you want information go to  what-is-yupo and see  Marc’s tarosan.wordpress.com . We quickly found out that if we had one or two  recognizable images  we were doing something right but not sure what. Marc is a generous teacher. He will give you all the help and motivation to improve your handiwork. Registration, for January 2014 is still open and can be done on line.The fee includes models and yupo. No extras as in many comparable class. You can park  nearby without worry of a ticket. Just diagonally across from the studio, 10$ for us.

model with crystal ball, yupo paper

model with crystal ball, yupo paper watercolour

Model on chair yupo paper

yupo paper, nude model